1st Edition

Donald Trump in the Frontier Mythology

By Olena Leipnik Copyright 2023

    This book explores the presidential image of Donald Trump as it is constructed by the media within American national mythology, precisely the frontier myth.

    By offering an account of three milestones in the development of the frontier mythology in its intersection with presidential imagery, the book shows how the image of Donald Trump fits into the line of "cowboy presidents," together with Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. It also offers insights into the reasons for making Russian president Vladimir Putin a part of Trump’s story and a routinely mentioned figure in American presidential politics.

    Applying the means of philosophical anthropology to this topical issue at the intersection of politics and the media, this volume will appeal to those working and studying in the areas of media studies, political anthropology, American studies, and myth studies.


    1. "The toughest guy in the office"
    2. The tough guy theme in politics

      Masculine politics and the origin of the tough

    3. Theodore Roosevelt: the becoming of the frontier and the arrival of the hero
    4. Performative frontier: staging the myth

      The enduring contradiction of myth

      The land and the man

      The man and the towners

      The girl: gendered opposition

    5. Ronald Reagan: extension of the frontier and inversion of the hero
    6. Myth gains primacy

      The exhauster of myth

    7. Donald Trump: recovered meanings of the frontier and resurgence of the hero
    8. Back to the beginning

      New scapes: cowboy goes metropolitan

      Myth continued

    9. Vladimir Putin: "stolen" meanings of the frontier and a supplementing hero  
    10. Here comes the villain

      "Is he one of us?"

    Concluding thoughts


    Olena Leipnik is Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Sam Houston State University, USA.